Deborah Ross: Our Woman In Crouch End

I know what the local elections are missing - some candidates from the Jewish Mums' Army


The magazine Take a Break, one of those true-story weeklies full of heart-warming tales such as "Mum Fell For Own Son", in which a mother encounters her long-lost son and has sex with him - always so touching, these reunion stories - has effectively launched its own political party. It's called Mums' Army and is fielding 54 candidates for the English local elections on 4 May.

The candidates are taken from the magazine's readers, so I'm guessing that, as they canvass, they are themselves taking a break from having unprotected intercourse with family members; going to the loo and having a baby ("...and I didn't even know I was pregnant, that's how thick I am!"); selling their arse for Lemsip (as in: "I Sold My Arse For Lemsip!"); or thinking, "I loved him, so why did I stab him, chop him up and knit him into a Thomas the Tank Engine hoodie with matching scratch mitts for my baby grandson Blaine?".

There may even be an accompanying photograph of baby Blaine, with a caption that reads: "Here is my lovely grandson Blaine, in his little hoodie and scratch mitts, which are very good for scratch cards. Pattern available on request. We love him to bits and won't eat him and sell the story for at least a fortnight. The scratch mitts are also very good for scratching social workers and those busybodies who go on about breast-feeding, like you'll get your tits out for anybody! Like you're a tart!"

Anyway, the Mums' Army are, apparently, fighting mostly for tougher action on antisocial behaviour. Listen, just because you have sex with your own kids, have babies on the loo, stab the man you love, and sell your arse for Lemsip, it doesn't, of course, mean that you don't have standards or can't lead by example. Hey, if I can sell my arse for Lemsip, chances are I can sell yours, too! You'd be amazed what an arse can be worth in Lemsip! Vote for me!

However, before you do so, you might like to consider my own party, the Jewish Mums' Army, which we bring to you even though we'll look crap in combats, and will probably have to appliqué them and do a lot of glitzy beadwork. This has yet to be backed by a magazine, as I only just thought of it, but if it were, the magazine would probably be called: Take a Break... Take a Break? Do You Think Mrs Goldman's Son got to be a Top Cosmetic Dentist by Taking Breaks?

The magazine would also be full of true-life heart-warming tales - "I Told Him To Take A Jumper, And He Thanked Me In The End" - but no sport, as Jewish people won't do anything that involves shorts and jumping up and down, and no camping. Jewish people don't do camping, or any kind of holiday unless there's a proper lobby involved. (A Jewish person would never sell their arse for Lemsip, by the way. They'd get a better deal than that. Night Nurse, at least. And, I'll tell you this for nothing: it wouldn't be retail.)

So, Jewish Mums' Army it is, and here are some of our proposals:


More and better policing, with officers on the beat and local police stations staffed by officers who know their patch, answer the phone, and deal swiftly with youngsters who were told to take a jumper, but didn't, even though you ran after them shouting, "Take a jumper!", or even texted them: "did u tk a jmpr? shll I drp 1 off? no dstnce 2 far. hav u eaten? if so, wht?". Mostly, we have found the police to be wholly unsympathetic, saying, "For goodness sake, madam, we have better things to do than go after kids who don't take jumpers. For example, we've got a woman here who has just sold her arse for Lemsip."

Plus, many of our mothers have found they get the same reaction when their kids go out without coats, even though it might rain! Or hail! As can happen in August! So you have all these kids out there, on the streets, without jumpers or coats, upsetting the whole community, particularly if it's St John's Wood, and the police do nothing. It has to stop.


The law needs to come down in favour of the victim who, often, is treated as the culprit. "Madam, he's 42. Let him go out without a jumper." This is unacceptable as there is nothing a Jewish mother worries more about than a child of hers, whatever the age, out there without a jumper on. There is too much fuss about the kids' human rights. What about the rights of people to live without the fear of someone they love getting a cold and having to do terrible things for over-the-counter medication that doesn't work anyway?


We need to give support to parents who are trying to teach their children, for example, how important it is to tell their mothers exactly what they had for lunch, down to the last detail, and what outerwear they were wearing at the time. None of this, by the way, has anything to do with getting publicity for Take a Break... Take a Break? Do You Think Mrs Goldman's Son got to be a Top Cosmetic Dentist by Taking Breaks? It's a serious campaign. It even comes with a free turtleneck, umbrella and pack-a-mac.

(It's £500 if you've slept with your own son, but £1,000 if you did it for Lemsip while simultaneously hopping and putting the rubbish out.)

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